• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
businessday logo


Continental Alarm ‘smoke dictator’ helping insurers reduce fire, allied claims


Over time, insurers have had to contend with huge claims arising from fire and allied perils so much that premium has been hard-hit with huge claims, and underwriting competence under question.

While issues with fire claim may not be unique with Nigerian market, what advanced markets has done better is application of sound technology to reduce fire incidents through use of smoke detectors and fire alarm equipment to bring down occurrence level.

As local operators therefore adopt new technologies and increased efforts to improve efficiencies, collaboration with Continental Alarm, a fire detector and prevention company, was doing the magic resulting to reduction in fire incidents and improved underwriting results.

The major beneficiaries however are the insureds who though have taken insurance cover would suffer less physical and psychological effects as result of regular incidents of fire disasters.

Okwy Okeke, MD/CEO, Continental Alarm Limited, the sole authorised Videofied agent in Nigeria, a smoke detector equipment, said “Technology has solved many problems in our world; then mobile technology has changed the way we live in since the last 12 years; and would continue to do so even as the simple subscriber identification module embedded in a plastic (SIM Card) is adapted to transmit different forms of data.

According to him, using a simple smoke detector with an embedded SIM Card many losses due to fire can be curbed just as the auto-tracker has vehicle theft. “Our smoke detector will wirelessly transmit a text message and initiate a phone call to you besides just sounding an alarm in the event that it detects smoke. Conventional smoke detectors will sound an alarm on site, but what are the chances that the alarm will be heard and by the right person? For this simple reason we present the new Videofied Optical Smoke Detector,” Okeke said.

Okeke said the Videofied Optical Smoke Detector is a simple device that will help insurance companies save on fire and allied claims, and here is the simple reason – “fire outbreaks are particularly catastrophic in Nigeria because we do not detect them early enough.

“Late night fire outbreaks in a commercial property, or market, or government office, banks, malls, etc., may trigger on-site alarm, however this may be inaudible to the security man on site who may be asleep, or wondered away in search of food, or responding to nature’s call, or simply playing truancy, and that is half the story, the other half being that he may be complicit in the action.”

The residential corollary of is daytime fire that may have started due to power surge may not be detected until flames are seen from the roof and/or windows of the house, by which time the fire may have gutted a good section if not most of the property, and for this reason insurance firms in the country are burdened with significant Fire and Allied claims hitting millions of naira, Okeke explains.

Describing the Videofied Optical Smoke Detector, he noted that the device may as well be the silver bullet for Fire and Allied insurance same way the auto-tracker has been to auto insurance.

Modestus  Anaesoronye